10 Essential Big Family Skills

Another big sister post! Yay! 😀

My last post of this sort seemed to be a success, so hopefully you guys will enjoy this one as well.

And I had fun finding gifs, too. 😛


Starting us off at number ten:


10. Learning to roll with it


Flexibility’s the word, people. Anything can change within the space of 5 minutes. Anything. Someone might randomly start throwing up. Someone might suddenly decide that they’re starving or that they need to go to the bathroom.

The whole day’s plans might change because your cow got out in the neighbor’s field and you have to go spend hours chasing it away in the rain.

Whatever happens, optimism is key. Even if everyone else loses theirs, sometimes it just takes a well timed joke or comment to cheer everyone up.


  1. Costco know-how (secondarily including Food Co-op)
My goodness, I love this. XD

Our family probably knows more about Costco than some of the employees. We know where any given thing is in the store upon its mention. We have the fastest routes through the store planned out to locate said thing. And once we have it, our estimations of Mom’s location in the store are generally pretty good.

Not to mention the exact opening times and locations of all sample booths. Very important for hungry little people. 😛


  1. Physical toughness

There’s the matter of strength. (You’ve got to have pretty strong arms after a while with all the baby carrying.)

And then there’s the matter of how much of a beating you can take from your siblings. Surprisingly, over half of these incidents are accidental, but all the made up games we come up with account for a lot.

Running into rocks . . . throwing blankets over each other and running around blindly . . . jumping from bed to bed . . . going off unsteady bike jumps . . . jumping onto already swinging trapezes . . . seeing how close you could get to punching someone without their blinking.

I got away pretty unscathed except for with that last one. I didn’t even know what they were doing when John runs up to me, says “Hey, Rosey! Try not to blink!” and promptly nails me on the nose.


Little brothers would make this a bit higher priority on the list.


  1. Language skills

With every new baby comes a whole new language that must be learned. It’s never the same. There are special gibberish names for everyone (I’ve been Wosey, Wishy, Wisy, Wadee and just plain old “E” before siblings could say my name) and names for favorite toys and foods that certainly no one outside the family will understand.

A few of Faith’s current terms:

Hobbit/Ha-peet= Pick me up

Peas-ha= Peas (her favorite snack)

Doo-doos and Buckle= Ginger and Bullwinkle, our dogs

Doppit= Stop it

And you never know when a new word might pop up that must be translated. Be always ready.


  1. A good memory (and good detective skills as backup)
I hope it never comes down to this…

Things get lost, folks. Lots of things get lost. Possibly important things get lost. And if you don’t find them, either they will be squirreled away to some secret stash of Peter’s or no one will ever find them.

But if you have a good memory for that sort of stuff, you can both keep track of your things and make friends by finding other people’s things.


  1. Salesmanship and a general way with words

It’s really handy to master this on at least a small level. The applications are endless: Trying to get your favorite movie watched on movie night. Getting little siblings to be good little underlings help you out on a project. Having a book you like be the next read-aloud. If you’re lucky, you can even get little picky eaters enthused about broccoli soup.

In other words, it’s good to be glib. 😛



  1. Referee skills

As much as everyone is awesome and has a great time together most of the time, there is inevitably going to be fights. Who’s Lego brick is who’s or who had the toy car first . . . stuff like that. (Among little people, of course. The older ones barely ever have those problems any more.) I tell you, my logical reasoning books come in surprisingly handy.

Learn to see both sides of the argument. Listen to both individually and figure out what actually happened before administering calm justice. Or, in a worst case scenario, escorting both parties to their date with destiny a.k.a the wooden spoon.


  1. Good listening


People have things to say. And they’re really quite interesting if you take the time to actually listen. Even if they’re just 6 and have to tap you every few seconds to make sure you’re still paying attention.

Really, I can easily say that the majority of really memorable, interesting conversations I’ve had have been within my family. There are the ever present moral and ethical conversations at the dinner table. There are the movie and/or book discussions after finishing one or the other. And there are the talks about why I don’t like Cat Stevens while we’re cleaning the kitchen. Or fictional villains while brushing our teeth.

Yep. Lots of fun.


  1. Patience

Applicable on so many levels I can’t even begin to count. Little people are selectively slow and sometimes it takes a long time for anyone to get anything done. Just . . . be patient. It’s really quite funny if you look at it the right way.


  1. Loving everyone for who they are


What it all boils down to, really.

So many God-given, fun and different personalities and everyone is so fun and special in their own way.

We have the artist, the mad scientist, the romantic, the puzzle genius, the motorhead, the drama queen, the total people person, Mom and Dad (who are total MBTI opposites) . . . and me. The one who was hopefully able to write this all up well.


Hope you all enjoyed!

How many siblings do you have? What skills would you add to the list?

Please comment!


30 thoughts on “10 Essential Big Family Skills

  1. I loved it! It’s so true! I’ve a younger brother and he’s 4 years younger than me. And we fight. Like. All. The. Time.
    And the third point was like bang on!
    Great job! And the gifs too! 😀

  2. Excellent write-up!!! 😃 One addendum to the last one. I would add “and loving them despite what they aren’t.” Example: Ferdinand makes a terrible companion animal, but he will make excellent dinners very soon…

  3. I can relate to this, being the oldest in my family. 🙂 And Costco…let’s just say it’s the best grocery store (especially because of the samples 😉 My siblings and I love the samples!).

  4. This was such a fun post to read! I only have one younger sister, so I don’t really know what it’s like to live in a huge family. But YAAS COSTCO. Costco is life! (Also, who doesn’t love free samples?!)

    1. Glad I could give you a glimpse of big family life! 😉
      Totally! Costco is awesome! We pretty much have it down to a science of between what times they will have the most samples. 😛


    *ahem* ANYWHO, ” . . . seeing how close you could get to punching someone without their blinking” Yeah … we do that ALL THE TIME!! 😉 (p.s. That Ant-Man gif was PERFECT!!)

    1. Yes it is! *wiggles eyebrows* I was waiting for a whovian to jump on that. 😛
      Haha, yeah… XD well, that was my introduction to the game. Needless to say, I don’t play it much nowadays.
      Thanks! I think that was my favorite gif placement. 😉

  6. *grins madly* You used a Tenth Doctor gif! Congratulations!
    My dastardly plan is working… X-P
    Nice Ant-Man gif. X-D I had my brother break my nose by accident, not once but TWICE. Good times. 😛 Also, I think that the “I think I’ve got it, but just in case, tell me again, I wasn’t listening” was actually a different part of the movie than that picture. That’s his speech in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

    1. I thought you might like that. XD
      Haha, thanks! That was pretty much what it looked like. 😛
      Ouch. Guess I got it easy, then. I’ve only ever gotten a bloody nose (courtesy of Daniel. See above reference to jumping on a swinging trapeze. He got me back for making up the running-into-rocks game.)
      Yeah, I know. That was just the best gif I could find with that line. He actually said it in the old west. 😛

      1. X-P
        Yeah. We had this old wheelbarrow bed that we taped over the screw holes and used as a wading pool. (It’s currently doing duty as a cover for our firewood to keep it dry.) Anyway, so one time we were sticking our heads under and my brother pushed my face under all the way, I panicked, he shoved my nose into the bottom. And the other time we were just roughhousing. 😛

        1. Ooh, ouch. *wince* Well, one of the costs of all the fun the rest of the time. 😛
          Once Squink and I hung up ropes in the backyard and accidentally swung into each other and smashed our heads together. Like, extremely hard. I passed out for a second, but Squink kindly screamed in my ear. XP

          1. True. 😛
            Oh wow. Ouch. 0_0
            One time I was playing tag at my cousin’s wedding reception, and someone had poured bubbles and confetti on the floor, and I slipped and my glasses cut into my temple. I still have the scar.

          2. Ooooh… *winces harder* This is a painful chain of comments.
            Once Bullwinkle ran full speed into my legs while I was running the other direction. That was about the fastest I’ve gone from upright to flat on my stomach in ever. And I didn’t even know what hit me since it was night, he’s black and I was looking the other way. XD

          3. Last night I was walking down to my car after class and my feet slipped. I slid halfway down the ramp on my butt and then I looked up at the sky and remarked to my guardian angel, “Well, that was interesting.” X-P

  7. You got it all spot on! I have seven younger siblings.
    The best bloody nose incident for me was when two of my younger brothers conscripted me for a baseball game. In one inning I accidently gave both of them a bloody nose using the ball.
    The cow is out! We bought a new cow and next morning she had gone through the fence looking for her barn. Brother number one chased her for about five miles before we caught her. Including walking her back, there went six hours.
    The conversations are the best!

    1. Sweet! We’re even, then. 😛
      Oh, man… yeah I had a close call with a baseball once, but it didn’t hit me. There was a loose string and I felt it brush my face as it went by. XD
      Whoa, you had it a lot worse than we did with the cow then. It was only the field next door for us. 😛
      I know! Lots of fun conversations. 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  8. Oh, this is so funny! And it is so true! I have seven younger siblings (and two older siblings) so I understand all of these completely! The thing about physical toughness is probably my favorite. 🙂

  9. THIS IS SO AWESOME. And can I just say, your siblings are blessed to have such an AWESOME SISTER? Wow. You inspire me.
    I have ten siblings—I’m the third oldest—and I definitely know the stuff. XD
    But seriously…you’re way amazing.

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